Restaurant Review: Next Door Wine & Appetizers

>> Wednesday, October 14, 2015

When you think wine bar, the first thing that often comes to mind are places in and around the downtown area. However, for those living outside the core, it might not interest them to travel downtown in order to sample some wine and then have to pay for the pricey taxi ride home. It seems what they were looking for all along was Next Door Appetizers, where the name really does highlight the fact that for those down south, they now no longer need to trek very far in order to enjoy a great meal along with delicious wine.

Atmosphere: Charming contemporary design which highlights their relaxed wine bar theme.

Price Range: Mid $10s - $20s

Food & Wine: We were lucky enough to have been invited to spend a wonderful evening at Next Door, trying to explain to my husband where it was located was another story (he kept thinking we were going next door not to the restaurant). We started off with an amazing Chef’s choice Charcuterie Board where 3 cheeses and 3 meats were featured. My favorite mortadella and prosciutto were both on the board so I was elated. The portion size was extremely generous and we had to pace ourselves acoordingly. Especially since there was still a lot more food on the way.

For some greens we had the Multicolored Beet Salad with cherry tomatoes, topped with arugula and feta in a tangy Dijon mustard dressing. I really enjoyed the sweet and sour combo of the beets and tomatoes. It was a nice contrast against the dressing itself. I also loved all the colors on the plate, they do say eating your colors is healthy! Next was the Mussels & Spicy Chorizo in a fresh basil tomato sauce. The tomato sauce itself was divine where the chorizo gave it an added spiciness which really elevated the dish. I would have loved to see bigger juicier mussels, but sadly that’s a problem all of Calgary has due to our landlocked coordinates. We’re at the mercy of a good shipment, but the sauce here was the star.

Everybody probably already knows I love gnocchi, so ordering the Seared Gnocchi with a pork ragout was no surprise. If gnocchi is on the menu, I’m ordering it. I thought the texture of the gnocchi was on point, perfect with a bit of charred exterior from the searing. However, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the ragout. It was a nicely cooked ragout, but I guess I’m more of a gnocchi purest and love it when they’re served in a creamy sauce, so that each gnocchi can be used as a vessel for the sauce. To cap off our delicious meal, we decided to share the Unbaked New York Style Cheesecake. The server mentioned that it’s a fairly decent size and it definitely was; more than enough to share amongst 2 people. Unless you’re a huge dessert fiend, then you may want one all to yourself because it definitely is creamy cheesecake goodness. Light and fluffy due to the fact that it’s unbaked, it was the perfect way to end the meal.

We could not go to a wine bar and not order wine, so to change things up we went with a white that evening, the Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio. For those who haven’t sampled Pinot Grigio before, they’re actually the same grape variety as Pinot Gris. Therefore if you’re a fan of the latter, you’ll love the crispness of Pinot Grigio. The Tiefenbrunner is a great accompaniment to lighter fare with its pear undertones and full bodied round finish. It’s a great wine to sip throughout the evening.

My Picks: Beet Salad, Unbaked Cheesecake

Overall: We quite enjoyed our evening at Next Door. There’s literally nothing better than tapas in my books. The wine and food was both excellent and since it’s quite literally next door to their sister restaurant Toscana Grill (hence the name) they’re wonderful options for those living in the South!

Next Door Wine and Appetizers
1A Macleod Trail SE
Calgary, AB
(403) 255-1222

Next Door Wine & Appetizers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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